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Does your business create a sense of ownership?

I was reading an article on Small Business Labs that relates very well to my current small business, particularly the first trend.

This is from the article:

1.  The Shift to Contingent Workers Turns Employees into Entrepreneurs

Employers large and small are shifting from full-time employees to part-timers, freelancers, outsourced services, partnership arrangements and other forms of contingent workers…

Being in the IT industry, I’ve always kinda wondered why more businesses don’t operate this way. Since I work almost solely with a computer, I can remote into any network that has the capability. I could log in to anybody online collaboration or project management tool. I could share files using a huge variety of services.

These days, I could turn Twitter or Facebook into a collaboration and communication platform without any extra work. If I don’t want to go that route, I could hook into a Yammer account.

I recently read another article about how businesses should try to create an ownership feeling amongst their employees.

In most of the places that I’ve worked, that never seemed to be the objective. Like a lot of companies, it almost always seemed to be the opposite. It was often very transparent that the company hired you to make them money. Long hours, calls on the weekend, etc.

In their defense, they created those businesses and must make sure that they continue to be profitable so they need to make sure that their employees do their jobs and do them well.

One way to increase your employees productivity though, is to create a sense of ownership. That doesn’t mean giving up a percentage of your company. It doesn’t mean letting them take the lead on a project and patting them on the back, though that is important.

There are a number of ways that you can help create a feeling of ownership.

  1. Time
  2. This one is one of the biggest. If your business can offer this, let your employees work from home more often. If you don’t absolutely need them to be in the building, let them log in from home.Letting your employee know that he/she can be around family a little more can do wonders for productivity.

  3. Project Ownership
  4. This is a little more than taking the lead on something. Let somebody in your company manage a project from start to finish and allow them some control over how the project flows. Let them add as much input as they can. Don’t hand over a list of things to do and call that ownership. Ask for their opinion.

  5. Communication
  6. Keep an open channel of communication. Nothing kills productivity or creativity faster than having to wade through a hierarchy of people to get a question answered. If your business is able to offer this, please do.

  7. Encourage Ideas
  8. This one is surprisingly not used as much as it should be. There were a number of businesses that I worked for that didn’t offer their employees a chance to pitch their ideas. Many of these employees had great ideas that went unheard. Your business might have a flagship product hidden inside your own walls.

    Even better, encourage ideas from your employees. If an idea turns into a line of business product, offer a percentage of ownership on that product. There would be no better way to make sure that the employee who shared the idea kept an interest in it.

If you have any other ideas on how to create that sense of ownership, I’d love to hear them

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